Pointers for Private Specialist Tutors and Assessors

When taking on a new client it is best to establish ground rules from the outset. The following pointers could be useful:

1 Preliminary arrangements:

  • Discuss with the client their expectations of a course of specialist lessons.
  • Establish whether or not there is an up to date full diagnostic assessment from a Practitioner Psychologist or Specialist Teacher Assessor from which you may take recommendations.
  • If this is not the case decide whether or not it will be necessary to carry out an assessment and explain what this would involve.
  • Discuss where the lessons will take place.
  • Discuss when, how frequent and how long the lessons should be.
  • Discuss whether there should be parental involvement during the lesson.
  • Confirm whether homework will be issued and whether there should be parental involvement.
  • Discuss how you will inform parents about progress or any concerns and how and when they may communicate with you.
  • With whom you will share information and obtain their consent to do so.
  • Establish whether you will be liaising with the child's school and if you will be required to visit it.
  • Set a review date after half a term's tuition in order to make sure that expectations are being met.


2 Advise your costs:

Not only should you let the client,or parent if a minor, know your fees for lessons, but you should also advise:

  • Your fees for report writing if this is intended to be an additional activity.
  • Your fees for teacher assessments if, and when, required.
  • Your costs or arrangements in the case of cancellations.
  • Charges for out of pocket expenses, e.g. Fees for attending meetings, if any, e.g. with the school or LEA. Telephone expenses. Additional resources etc.
  • Making this information available in written form is advisable.


3 Personal considerations and development:

  • Membership of a professional body such as Patoss (The Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties) is advisable.
  • Be aware of and follow your professional code of ethics and conduct. Patoss requires its members to follow the Code of Ethics and Conduct which is published on the Patoss website.
  • You might also hold an SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate (APC), confirming specialist training in diagnostic assessment and a commitment to continuing professional development in this area. An SpLD APC is recognised by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) as meeting requirements for assessment for access arrangements in examinations. An SpLD APC is required for specialist teachers supplying diagnostic assessments in support of Disabled Student Allowances for Higher Education.
  • You should also ensure that your skills are regularly updated through continuing professional development. Many courses are listed on Patoss CPD/Events list.
  • Make sure you are insured, both for professional indemnity and for public liability. PATOSS is has special schemes for members.
  • It may also be advisable to arrange a DBS check for yourself. Patoss is able to arrange this for members.

See also our  Pointers when Looking for a Tutor or Assessor